DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) has been a very popular therapy in recent years. It is particularly effective for people who struggle with self-harming behaviors, suicidal thoughts, and severe anxiety/depression.
DBT is not new, but providers, parents, and clinicians are just beginning to recognize the benefits that DBT can have in helping clients decrease their maladaptive "harmful" behaviors and promote healthy ones. DBT can be used in schools to teach students social-emotional skills and classroom management. Teens can also learn DBT skills online via villagecounselingandwellness.com/teen-dbt-program.
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Teens are bombarded with social media and pressure to succeed and a belief that they must have life figured out already. It's not surprising that anxiety and depression rates have risen in adolescents. Did you know that 49.5% of 13-18-year-olds were diagnosed with a mental disorder between 2001 and 2004?
Imagine what this number could be today! Teens should seek out a licensed mental healthcare professional or DBT specialist to help them learn and implement DBT skills. There are a few things your teen can do right away.
DBT is focused on four key skills:
Mindfulness refers to the ability to remain in the present, rather than being dragged back in the past or worrying about the future.
Emotion Regulation means being able to observe and notice, without judgment, the emotions that we experience, and finding out their role in our lives and bodies.
Interpersonal Effectiveness means being able to ask for what you need from yourself and others and keeping your calm when things don't go according to plan.
Distress Tolerance is being able to tolerate strong emotions that would otherwise send you into a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions